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Lionel Messi to Miss Barcelona's United States Tour Due to Calf Injury

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 04: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona waves to the crowd prior to the Joan Gamper Trophy match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal at Nou Camp on August 04, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will not take part in the club's pre-season tour of the United States due to a calf injury.

The Blaugrana confirmed the news in a statement on their official website on Monday, noting the Argentina international has a Grade 1 calf strain.

"Messi will remain in Barcelona and will now not travel to the USA for the club's tour," read the statement. "His availability to come back to action will be dictated by his recovery from the injury."

FC Barcelona @FCBarcelona

🚨 BREAKING NEWS 🚨 Leo Messi, injured More details: https://t.co/CHu4TumanN https://t.co/6FHlDiWDQN

Messi was part of the Barcelona squad for the Joan Gamper Trophy showdown with Arsenal on Sunday, although he was an unused substitute on the day.

As is tradition as club captain, the 32-year-old addressed the supporters at the Camp Nou ahead of the new campaign:Β 

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

Messi is motivated to start the new season for @FCBarcelona πŸ”΄πŸ”΅ (via @FCBarcelona) https://t.co/Tpi3htPj4T

The Blaugrana noted that Messi was due to return to training on Monday before the team continued their pre-season preparations in the United States.

Messi's delayed return to action was due to his participation in the Copa America, when he helped Argentina make it to the semi-finals of the competition.

Samuel Marsden of ESPN FC noted the Blaugrana star was involved in a session in the morning before Barcelona confirmed his injury:

Samuel Marsden @samuelmarsden

Messi, Coutinho, Vidal and Junior all in training this morning before flying to Miami this afternoon for Napoli double header.

The La Liga winners have two dates on their tour of the United States, both against Serie A side Napoli.

The two will meet at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Thursday before they face off for a second time on Saturday at Michigan Stadium, which has a capacity of 107,000.

Not having Messi as part of the travelling party will be a major blow to supporters in America who would have been excited to see him in flesh.

Eleven Sports offered a reminder of some of the forward's best moments from an excellent 2018-19 season:Β 

Eleven Sports @ElevenSports_UK

| 😲 | Barcelona confirm Lionel Messi will not travel to the US for Barca's final preseason games after suffering a Grade 1 calf strain when he returned to first-team training on Monday. https://t.co/For21SGvzB

Last term, Messi scored 36 times in his 34 La Liga appearances and also registered 13 assists.

Barcelona coasted to the La Liga title in 2018-19, although their campaign ended on a low note due to their performances in the cup competitions. They caved in in the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg against Liverpool and lost the Copa del Rey final to Valencia.

Even with Messi absent, Barcelona aren't short of attacking options. They signed Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid this summer and still have one of the best forwards in the world in Luis Suarez.